Yemen to expand number of state schools teaching German from six to 25 by 2010

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Der Jemen liegt an der Grenze zwischen dem Pflanzenreich der Holarktis und der Paläotropis. Er beherbergt nur in der Küstenebene eine Steppenlandschaft. Zum Bergland hin entspricht die Vegetation der einer Dornbuschsavanne. Im den bis über 3000 m hohen Bergen siedelt eine afroalpine, frostverträgliche Pflanzendecke. Nur im äußersten Osten geht die Vegetation über das Stadium einer Halbwüste allmählich in eine echte Wüste über. Durch jahrtausendelange Bewirtschaftung (Holzeinschlag, Weideverbiss, Ackerbau) sind nur noch Reste naturnaher Pflanzengesellschaften vorhanden.

Some more good news for German:
Naseem’s school is one of six governmental secondary schools in Yemen already teaching German, but soon there will be 25. In a bid to diversify talents in Yemeni youth, the Ministry of Education and the German Goethe Institute will introduce the language into the curriculum of 19 new to schools in Sana’a, Aden, Taiz, Hadramout and Ibb this year...Introducing German as a third language after English into governmental schools will not only encourage an increasingly multilingual Yemen, but also importantly provide jobs and training opportunities for unemployed German Language graduates from the Faculty of Languages at the University of Sana’a.
That last sentence is a bit odd though: is this really to provide jobs and training opportunities for unemployed German language graduates? Seems a bit suspicious. One thing about languages that bears remembering though is that most of the time it's a skill that doesn't really do anything for a person careerwise all by itself. A lot of people seem to have the expectation that after graduating in or learning a certain language they'll be able to find jobs galore, when usually language skills are complementary to other skills, and without these other skills there's really not much out there in terms of employment aside from places like call centres perhaps. Translation and interpretation are always possible of course, but that requires a pretty phenomenal level of skill most of the time and mere functional fluency alone won't do it.

And some more on the actual numbers:
“We hope to attract more people to study in Germany or in the German universities in Jordan and Egypt,” said Fietz, who is helping the ministry select the new teachers.

“I hope to study engineering in Germany; Germany is a country of knowledge,” said Raji Al-Harazi, 16, who is studying German for the second year at the Bilal Bin Rabah boy’s school adjacent to Naseem’s school.

“I would like to study architecture in Germany,” agreed Ismail Al-Hadiri, 15, who started studying the language this year at the same school. “German is easy because we have already started studying English and the alphabet is similar.”

About 80 Yemeni graduates are currently enrolled in Masters or PhD courses in Germany as a result of the scholarships offered by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), according to Maxi Siegmund, German language lecturer at Sana’a University and coordinator for DAAD in Yemen.

The Ministry of Education offers more scholarships to Yemeni students to go and study in Germany, sometimes sponsoring them from undergraduate level to PhD.


CJ said...

Couldn't agree with you more.

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